Primary Science Week 2019

Primary Science Week 2019

Elements Matter

13 – 17 of May 2019
(Term 2 Week 3)

While Primary Science Week is over all these resources are still useful

NEW: School Video Competition for the International Year of Periodic Table

Help the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (NZIC) and the Royal Society of Chemistry New Zealand Branch celebrate the 150th birthday of the PeriodicTable and submit a short 1-2 min video about your favourite chemical element.You have 118 elements to choose from so let your imagination run wild!
There are two judging categories: Junior/Intermediate School (Years 1-8) and Senior School (Years 9-13). Individual and group/team/class entries are both welcome. Each category will have a first, second and third prize.
There are many resources you could use to find information for your video, some of these are collected on the NZIC website. There are a few example videos which can be seen on the NZIC YouTube channel.
Once the judges have decided the winners all the videos will be posted onto the NZIC website (and YouTube channel) and they will also be played at the NZIC conference in November 2019. The judges’ decision will be final.
Details about the competition and how to enter can be found here

National Activity 1

NZ Primary Schools Periodic Table
Include your school in our NZAPSE Periodic Table. Choose a symbol or element that represents your school then describe attributes that link your school to the element. For full details go here. Be in quick to choose the element that is best for you.
You can see our periodic table as it develops here.

National Activity 2

The Periodic Table Treasure Hunt
Challenge your students to find pictures, or take photos, of items that are made of elements from the periodic table.
Check out this example to see what your Periodic Table  could look like.
Place them into a periodic table outline. Take a photo of your final product and send it to us so we can share it with others.
Why not go to the Compound Interest website to help with this.

New Zealand Competition

As part of the celebrations the 150 years of the Periodic table, the Royal Society Te Apārangi invites your students to take part in a t-shirt design competition inspired by the Periodic Table and the student humour and wit. 

They will be picking three winning designs.

The competition is for students of all ages from Year 1-13 and the closing date is Friday 24 May at 5.00pm.

Entries should be sent to [email protected].

If they would like to use a t-shirt template you can download one from

The winners, winner’s school, teacher and classroom will received Periodic Table packs.  The selected designs will also be printed for the winners, their teacher and classroom.  The winners will become a part of a larger social media campaign celebrating the 150th year of the Periodic Table creation.  People from around New Zealand will be wearing their t-shirts.

Competition Complete – here are the winning designs
See the winners here

Worldwide Activities

Have a look at what is happening for the International Year of the Periodic Table
This website lists all the official happenings for the year including world wide events and activities. The IYPT is supported by IUPAC

IUPAC | International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is the world authority on chemical nomenclature (naming) terminology, including the naming of new elements in the periodic table,  standardised methods for measurement, atomic weights and many other critically-evaluated data.
You can find out about what they do here and check out the latest periodic table here.

Activities For Your Classes

1. Find out more about the Periodic table, its structure and why it looks the way it does on the Ducksters Education Site. This gives simple explanations suitable for children. It also includes information on each element.
Ducksters Educational Site

2.  Two great posters showing the uses of the elements on the periodic table. One has pictures and the other has words. This site includes quality versions to download and/or print as well as interactive versions.
3.  Sign into the Science Learning Hub and use their new Collection Tool to create your own collection of resources about the Periodic Table.

4.  Try out this fun activity which will show how patterns are used to form the Periodic Table.
5.  Watch this video from that wonderful group They Might be Giants. Meet the Elements

6.  The latest version of the Periodic Table Song, with all 118 elements, can be found here.

7.  A simple practical activity to help young ones understand about metals and nonmetals and their place on the periodic table.
8.  Fun with words and the Periodic TableElement Haiku
A haiku for every element.
9.  Get your students to learn the names and positions of the elements on the Periodic Table with Periodic Table Battleships. With a simple search you may find some games online.
Image result for periodic table battleship online
10.  This is the ultimate Interactive Periodic Table from the Royal Society of Chemistry. It contains everything you wanted to know and more about each element. Short interesting videos are also provided for each element. Have a look at potassium.

Celebrating the international year of the periodic table of elements

Phil Kendon, Head of Chemistry and Junior Science at Wellington College, and some of his tauira students discuss how they use the ripanga pūmotu periodic table and share what their favourite elements are. View here.

Have a read of the following articles that have information on past and future Tables.

The World’s Oldest Periodic Table Poster
How Far Does the Periodic Table Go?
Europe’s ‘New’ Periodic Table Predicts Which Elements Will Disappear in the Next 100 Years
Elemental: The Periodic Table at 150
How Did We Figure Out Atoms Exist?